Key provisions in new health care law take effect in six months
Published 4:59 pm Friday, March 26, 2010
The following press release was issued by Congressman Bill Owens of N.Y. and submitted to the Bulletin by Jerry Hardvall.
As the President signs the health care reform package into law, the following key provisions will take effect either immediately or in the next six months:
Small Business Tax Credits: offers tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available to firms that choose to offer coverage. This is effective beginning calendar year 2010.
Beginning in 2014, small business tax credits will increase to cover 50 percent of premiums.
Closing the Medicare Part D Donut Hole: provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the Medicare Part D coverage gap in 2010. This is effective beginning calendar year 2010. It is estimated that this provision will completely close the coverage gap by 2020.
Increasing Number of Primary Care Doctors: provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. This is effective beginning fiscal year 2010.
Community Health Centers: Increasing funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years. This will create jobs and ensure that patients are seen in a timely manner. Effective beginning fiscal year 2010.
Health Insurance Consumer Information: provides aid to states in establishing offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals with the filing of complaints and appeals.
Effective beginning fiscal year 2010.
Help for Early Retirees: Creates a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64. Effective 90 days after enactment.
Ends Rescissions: Bans health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Effective 6 months after enactment.
Bans Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Effective 6 months after enactment.
Extends Coverage for Young People Up to 26th Birthday Through Parents Insurance: Requires health plans to allow young people up to their 26th birthday to remain on their parents insurances policy, at the parents choice. Effective 6 months after enactment.
Free Preventative Care Under Private Plans: Requires new private plans to cover preventative services with no co-payments and with preventative services being exempt from deductibles. Effective 6 months after enactment. Beginning in 2018, this requirement applies to all plans.
No Discrimination Against Children with Preexisting Conditions:
Prohibits health plans from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Effective 6 months after enactment. Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply to all persons.
Bans Restrictive Annual Limits on Coverage: Tightly restricts new plans use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care. Effective 6 months after enactment.